Faith in Humanity Restored – Olympics-style
I love the Olympics. The Parade of Nations, the pride on the face of the person chosen to light the olympic cauldron,
Australia winning at things, young athletes crying tears of joy on the podium, and almost the entire world interested in the same thing at the same time – if you don’t get the warm and fuzzies from at least one of these things, you haven’t been watching long enough.
Sure, not everything has gone 100% smoothly and there have been scandals over everything from doping to mosquitoes, but together the Olympic and Paralympic values are Friendship, Respect, Excellence, Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Equality – making it totally #TrustInHumanityTuesday-worthy.
Here are six different reasons to get inspired and think “holy shit humans are awesome,” courtesy of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
1. The introduction of the refugee team
No anthem, no single flag… no words, seriously. This team is incredible.
2. People thinking outside their usual boxes
People who don’t care about sport for most of the year are glued to their screens. Die-hard rugby fans get into rowing and gymnastics. It might be temporary, but it’s always great to change things up and get people interested in things they’d usually dismiss. Enthusiasm is good for the soul (and water cooler conversation material doesn’t help either).
3. The recognition paralympians are receiving
The UK’s Channel 4 is widely credited with bringing the paralympics into mainstream view during the London games, and it’s fantastic to see that (in Australia, at least – I hope it’s the case elsewhere) this is going to continue with Channel Seven becoming the first commercial station to get the broadcast rights and already interviewing the competitors. I’ve been in awe of paralympians since Heath Francis visited my school before the Sydney 2000 games, and am still in love with the London 2012 ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign:
4. The proposal
For those who missed it, field manager and volunteer Marjorie Enya and proposed to her girlfriend Isabella Curello of the Brazilan Rugby 7s team on the footy ground. And EVERYONE (who isn’t a jerk) is so happy about it. Check out the adorable photos here.
5. Everyone learning something from the parade of nations
Who doesn’t love a passive geography/history/Portuguese lesson? Here are just a few of the things I watched people learn by hanging out on Twitter during the opening ceremony.
- German in Portuguese is “Alemanha” (also that the countries walk in alphabetical order according to the host country’s language)
- Greece still gets to walk first every year
- The Cook Islands are a country (admittedly, this one was me. I don’t know what I thought previously)
- Australia and Austria are NOT the same country (*Aussie facepalm*)
6. The opening ceremony’s environmental focus
The opening sequence and the announcement of the Athlete’s Forest – possibly a brilliant PR move on Brazil’s part (anyone else getting flashbacks of childhood lessons on how much of the Amazon gets cleared every day?). But I’m a big believer in the ends (usually) justiifying the means, so if they’ve got millions of people thinking about this – and making themselves accountable as a nation – there’s going to be positive impact.
Has anything else from the first few days of Rio 2016 got you inspired? I want to hear about it no matter how weird – I’ve even been feeling moved by Woolworth’s and QANTAS commercials 🙈